As we have seen in the past, Developmental Disability service delivery systems are too often developed without the input of those on the front lines providing services and supports. Right now, we have a unique opportunity to change this.
The Federal Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) is collecting public comment from stakeholders to identify priorities for a 5-year strategic plan. This is our chance to establish the direct support profession as a viable career path with decent wages, benefits, opportunities for growth and training, and other initiatives to recruit, train and retain a workforce that can provide high quality service and supports.
SEIU members across the country have already spoken out and shared their vision.
“…As a system we must refocus our efforts on services that lead to real jobs in the community. We need to develop and retain well trained and highly motivated job developers and coaches. We need to engage the broader business community in addressing barriers to employment for individuals with developmental disabilities in the community…. We need to move toward reestablishing people providing direct supports to individuals as a profession where training and experience are recognized and rewarded and where an individual is able to earn a living wage and has access to a career path. ”
– David Mulvey MSW, Tri-Counties Regional Center, Member SEIU Local 721
Join David and other SEIU members now and tell ADD where they should focus their energy.
Over 250,000 SEIU members across the country are committed to providing persons with developmental disabilities and mental health needs live fulfilling lives as part of their communities. As the backbone of human service delivery, SEIU members work side by side with disability professionals, advocates and the individuals we serve to preserve and increase needed funding for critical services and advance the most progressive models of service delivery to maximize individual control over their lives – including the supports and treatments they receive.
This is our chance to ensure the ADD makes investing in the developmental disability workforce a priority. ADD will be holding a stakeholder meeting to begin formulating priorities in late January and comments from SEIU members will have an impact on what those priorities are.